Where Were You When the World Stopped Turning - September 11, 2001

Where Were You When the World Stopped Turning - September 11, 2001

I always remember as a kid my family talking about where they were or what they were doing when President Kennedy was shot. It didn't mean much to me because I was just a kid and hadn't experienced it. And, I wasn't old enough to have learned that history lesson yet. Last night I was watching Mad Men and it was the episode where Kennedy was killed. I watched the characters cry and for a moment I didn't get it. Today, remembering this day, I get it.

September 11, 2001

That morning I was heading to my college classes in Philadelphia. I was a returning adult student so I would take early classes so I could work at night. I heard about the first plane on the radio in my car. I don't know why, but I instantly knew it wasn't an accident, but I certainly didn't think about the magnitude that was about to unfold. When we arrived to school, we began class and then someone came in and told us the depth of what was occurring. Class was let out as many students had loved ones who commuted to New York and they were obviously distraught. I returned home and watched, in horror, the television for what seemed like 5 days straight.

That night I laid in bed and listened to the eerie silence. I swore I heard planes every other minute, but that was impossible as they were grounded. I thought about my fiance's  dad as he was on the tarmac in Dulles getting ready to take off when the plane was called back. Had there been a hijacker on that plane? We will never know.

Days turned into weeks, weeks into months, and I slowly got back to my normal routine as so many of us had to. I didn't lose anyone in the attacks and I didn't know anyone who had been at that now cemetery, but I sure was affected. 

Resilience and Remembering

Today I look at our country as being resilient and steadfast in our dreams. I am proud to be an American, no matter what my politics or lack thereof. I am grateful to live in a country where I can pursue my dreams and not be lashed for my opinions. And, I am thankful to those who defend our freedom everyday, putting their lives at risk. My baby brother leaves for the Air Force at the end of the month and I couldn't be more supportive of him. Although 20 years separate us, he is now a man who will stand up for me. For you. 

To those who lost loved ones, may you continue to heal and always carry your memories with you.


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